Cioppino, Italian Seafood Stew

09. February 2009 Shellfish 2

Here’s another Italian recipe I butchered. Cioppino is a traditional Italian stew using the catch of the day and I used all the seafood I “caught” from the sea-permarket (ha!) except for fish because my mother is allergic; otherwise I would choose monkfish fillets to have something very meaty and tender. The clams and mussels are perfectly cooked here, but that also means they didn’t get enough time in the hot broth, so I think clam juice in a can is an absolute necessity. If your eaters are not fussy, using shrimp with their heads on can add more natural flavor to the soup. I also decided to skip the pasta in my version and opted to serve it with a few slices of toasted baguette.

1 lb squid, cleaned, sliced in small rings
1/2 lb shrimp, heads on, sprinkled with salt and pepper
12 littleneck clams
12 mussels, bearded
1 cup white wine
1 medium can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of clam juice
a handful of parsley, roughly chopped
a few pieces basil leaves, chiffonade
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt, pepper, oil
1 small baguette, sliced, toasted

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat some oil. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
2. In the same pot, sauté garlic with red pepper flakes until golden brown. Add white wine and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer in low fire.
3. Add clams and cover. Simmer for 3 minutes. Clams are cooked when they are open. Discard those that didn’t open. Remove to a large bowl. Add mussels to the pot and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Mussels are also cooked when they are open. Discard those that didn’t. Remove to the same bowl with the clams.
4. Add clam juice, tomatoes and 3 cups of water to the pot with all the seafood and wine flavor. Let simmer for about 20 minutes while occasionally stirring. Add squid and cook for 2 minutes. Add back the shrimp, clams and mussels and carefully toss together with the tomato broth. Remove from heat. The squid will finish cooking in the remaining heat. Ladle in big open bowls and serve with toasted baguette.

Related post/s:
Moules marinieres recipe
Cockles in white wine sauce recipe

2 thoughts on “Cioppino, Italian Seafood Stew”

  • 1
    famdoc on February 10, 2009

    The best cioppino I’ve ever had was at Tadich Grill, a SF landmark (and, perhaps, a tourist trap).
    Still, the cioppino was loaded with fresh fish and shellfish and the broth fragrant and tasty enough to stand on its own.

  • 2
    Dallas Caterering on April 21, 2009

    So we went to a really good local restaurant last night and one of our guest ordered this. Of course, being in the business they were asking, “Can you send me a recipe?” We have never featured it or been requested to cook this by any customer, though, I have definitely cooked before. So, off to digging through a few books today, found it, and then couldn’t fit the book in the scanner (and was probably illegal to do that anyway) and got online!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe as this will give them something to work on perfecting over the next year. I think your post injects a little reality into it as well!

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